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11:20 AM ET, July 4, 2014


 Top Items: 
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Birth Control Order Deepens Divide Among Justices  —  WASHINGTON — In a decision that drew an unusually fierce dissent from the three female justices, the Supreme Court sided Thursday with religiously affiliated nonprofit groups in a clash between religious freedom and women's rights.
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Broader right to object to birth control  —  Expanding the rights of religious opponents of birth control, a divided Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon spared an Illinois college — and maybe hundreds of other non-profit institutions — from obeying government regulations that seek …
Micah Schwartzman / Slate:
Hobby Lobby rewrites religious-freedom law in ways that ignore everything that came before.  —  Monday's decision in Hobby Lobby was unprecedented.  Much of the commentary has focused on the Supreme Court's decision to extend rights of religious free exercise to for-profit corporations.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Balkinization
Chris Edelson / The Hill:
Boehner lawsuit likely to miss mark with focus on Obama's domestic actions  —  Last week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced plans for Congress to sue President Obama over unspecified failures to “faithfully execute the laws of our country.”  Boehner suggested that the president is acting like …
Reihan Salam / Slate:
Is America in danger of fracturing into two countries, one secular, one religious?  —  It's Independence Day weekend, which means that it is time for barbecues, illegal fireworks, and gratuitous displays of nationalism.  This year, I'm planning to get matching bald eagle tattoos on my biceps.
Discussion: Hot Air
Bill Cassidy / NOLA River:
Senate candidate Bill Cassidy discloses that his teenage daughter is pregnant  —  Rep. Bill Cassidy reveals that his 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, in statement issued by his Senate campaign.  (Photo by Julia Kumari Drapkin, |  The Times-Picayune)
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Lynn Vavreck / New York Times:
A Survey Says: Younger Americans Are Less Patriotic.  At Least, in Some Ways.  —  Younger Americans Are Less Patriotic.  At Least, in Some Ways.  —  Mario Tama/Getty Images  —  They are less devoted to symbols of the nation, like the flag.  But they are supportive of ideals like democracy and equality.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Nick Hopkins / BBC:
Syria conflict: UK planned to train and equip 100,000 rebels  —  Investigations correspondent, BBC Newsnight  —  “The plan was called Extract, Equip, Train... a shock and awe attack that would allow the Syrians themselves to defeat Assad”, reports Nick Hopkins
Discussion: Guardian
David Weigel / Slate:
The Seven Senate Races Democrats Should Be Optimistic About in 2016  —  Look, I'm not going to sit here and lie to you.  I'm not going to pretend Washington — by which I mean the journalism/politics/lobbying/ evil establishment that's based in the capital — is at work today.
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Hillary Has a Plan to Attack Inequality—Without Attacking Her Corporate Donors
Discussion: U.S. News and The Huffington Post
Iraq chases Baghdad sleeper cells as ‘Zero Hour’ looms over capital  —  (Reuters) - Iraqi insurgents are preparing for an assault on Baghdad, with sleeper cells planted inside the capital to rise up at “Zero Hour” and aid fighters pushing in from the outskirts, according to senior Iraqi and U.S. security officials.
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
How to not die from fireworks, courtesy of the Clinton administration  —  In 1996, the government blew things up on the National Mall to protect your kids.  And you, really.  Anyone who might be using fireworks or be near someone using fireworks or who might go outside at all ever when someone …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Mediaite
Joe Sonka / FatLip:
Sen. Brandon Smith has important things to say about climate change, Mars  —  Kentucky's Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment met today to discuss the new EPA rules to fight climate change by limiting greenhouse gases from power plants.
Emil Henry / Politico:
The Case for Mitt Romney in 2016  —  I'm absolutely serious.  —  No politician wants to be compared to Richard Nixon, but Mitt Romney might like the following.  —  First, consider the similarities in their 1960 and 2012 presidential contests.  Romney and Nixon were both mighty warriors …
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 More Items: 
Kay Steiger / Talking Points Memo:
Tea Party Forces Still Control The Republican Agenda
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Elisabeth Rosenthal / New York Times:
The Price of Prevention: Vaccine Costs Are Soaring
Discussion: Jezebel
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Conservative Journalist Declares War On ‘Reprehensible’ GOP Operative: 'It's On'
Discussion: Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Mike Pflanz / Telegraph:
Ebola ‘out of control’ in West Africa as health workers rush to trace 1,500 possible victims
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Associated Press:
Veteran dies waiting for ambulance in VA hospital
Discussion: Mediaite
CBS San Francisco:
Berkeley Requires Marijuana Dispensaries To Provide Free Weed For Low-Income Patients
Dylan Stableford / Yahoo! News:
What it's like to be a conservative columnist at the New York Times Yahoo News Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Mediaite